Monday, May 21, 2007

Lilacs and Tulips

Yesterday I came out to Burlington, and we had an expedition to the Lilac dell and Rockery at the Royal Botanical Gardens. We are right in the middle of the Lilac Festival right now, and the tulips in the rock gardens are still quite spectacular. If you've never been to the Royal Botanical Gardens I highly recommend a trip at some point. It is truly spectacular.

The Lilac Dell is this lovely hilly place with lilacs of various species (and it is amazing how many varieties there are) scattered across the landscape. The colours are amazing, ranging from white, through light pinks and purples, to deep maroons and violets. And the smell is intoxicating.
Unfortunately, it seems that the lilac plants have been suffering from some sort of disease, and a number of the really unique plants have been lost. So, I understand that the RBG is trying to replace some of the plants with specimens from Europe. This won't be happening for some time though.

I found this setting on the camera that let's you take extreme type close-ups of flowers. So I did a little experimenting with that feature. Lilacs are really interesting when you look at them in close-up. From a distance they look really delicate and lace-like. Up close though, each petal in each group is this really strongly powerful little cohesive being.

From the lilacs you can walk through this wooded area, down to Coutts Paradise. The wooded area is great. It is full of these chipmunks who have basically no fear. In fact, if you have seeds in your hand, and put your hand down to the ground, the chipmunks will come up and eat. This little guy was sitting up on a stump just off the pathway with streams of sunlight falling on him as he enjoyed a snack of what looked like corn.

I also learned that chipmunks are the smallest members of the squirrel family? Interesting.

For those not from the Hamilton/Burlington area, Coutts paradise is this sort of lagoonish area off of Hamilton Harbour/Burligton Bay. I always find it amazing because it really is a sort of natural paradise amongst the smokestacks of Steel Town.

I find the juxtaposition of such glorious nature and such cementily stinky industrial city to be somehow exciting. The picture on the left shows, I think, the 403 passing over the bay from Burlington to Hamilton. But don't quote me on that, my sense of direction is truly horrific.

As we came back up toward where we were parked we passed into a small area with Magnolia trees. And, we discovered something I've never seen before! A yellow magnolia!

From there, we piled back into the car, and travelled over to the Rock Garden to see the end of the tulips. I just love tulips. They are such perfectly elegant flowers.

The rock garden is one of my favourite parts of the RBG because it has all these wonderful twisting secret paths and nooks.

Note - for some reason this is not displaying the photos properly for those browsing on firefox. I'm working on fixing the problem

1 comment:

Deranged Squirrel said...

Those are beautiful pictures. Tulips are my favourite flower!